Tussle | Paige Webb
In her mind-bending debut Tussle, Paige Webb restages the old Western philosophical problem of the subject-object split as a wrestle between a quicksilver mind and erotic consciousness, which perceives the interpenetration of seeing and seen, of self and everything else. Ecologically astute and philosophically sharp, Webb’s cubistic poems remind of Gertrude Stein, Virginia Woolf, and Anne Carson. “Who doesn’t want to be,” Webb asks, looking at bees floating in a pool, “quietly wild, unshaven, drenched in collision?” Reader, drench yourself in this collision.
Chapter in which one character becomes her devices
She carries the tea so carefully
it spills, makes lists
on lined paper, rubs salve on her lips.
Each diagram she draws,
from future to present, is endless
distraction from regularity’s
distraction. She could walk
into a room where she wasn’t
and not alter the air
at all, not really. She could open a door
to a new house and not alter
her life, not completely.
Summer was once a cicada shell
sliced down the middle,
its hollow legs attached to her shirt
for a pin. Each piercing is an ornament
until it’s just a hole
one could search endlessly
through. One could always seize up,
seize another, settle down.
She opens the mundane
like a curtain: vista of haze
with a zoom lens.
author photo : Marcus Jackson